The printing industry has seen labored growth over the past decade. In fact, the industry grew just 1.7% in 2019, according to SGIA.
On top of that, tight paper markets, excess capacity, and rising tariffs are hurting printers’ margins. However, contrary, it seems, the best way to stand out is to increase your spending in a time when many printing companies are cutting marketing budgets.
Digital marketing has so many benefits for printing companies that cutting spending just doesn’t make sense. Digital marketing works to:
- Build brand awareness and reputation
- Generate inbound leads and increase revenue
- Improve organic website traffic
- Elevate websites’ position in SERPs
- Generate significant ROI
Of course, not every printing company can afford to increase their digital marketing spend.
With that in mind, we put together this quick guide to building a digital marketing strategy, including plenty of tips for DIY marketing. So no matter how your business is doing, you can still make a push to improve your online presence.
Table of contents:
- Showcase printing quality and share printing trends
- Get published in local newspapers and articles
- Make your website stand out from the crowd with SEO for printing companies
- Create and optimize your Google My Business profile
- Secure citations in industry directories for local SEO
- Start content marketing with an informative blog
Social media is a crucial part of any successful digital marketing strategy, but especially for printing companies. That’s because printing companies’ revenue comes from their distinct products and services. And the best place to display those visual products to consumers is social media.
For example, check out this dynamic and engaging Instagram profile from a printing company out of San Francisco. Their active presence on social media has also garnered over 7,000 followers.
Despite the fact that we increasingly live in a digital world, printing companies’ services are still needed. Print marketing has been proven to help build brand awareness. In fact, a FedEx Office survey concluded that some 85% of consumers equate the quality of a company’s printed materials with the quality of its services.
That means printing companies need to focus on illustrating the amazing quality of their work, and even some of their new technology, to attract potential clients. The best way to do that is with social media and hashtag research.
Using Instagram autocomplete, competitor research, and industry insights, you can craft a social media strategy that targets the right audience—and the right hashtags to draw in more views.
#printing #digitalprinting #offsetprinting #menus #printingpress #printingservice #graphicdesign #art #screenprinting
Just look at how Bay View Printing uses hashtags in their posts, like this one on postcards for Milwaukee, that has received over 500 likes in just a week.
Bay View also tags other accounts in their posts to increase engagement. It’s been a successful strategy for them. They have one of the most viewed printing company Instagrams around.
Additional Social Media Resources:
Getting published in local newspapers, industry publications, and the like is another great digital marketing strategy for printing companies.
And we don’t mean paying for sponsored articles. Rather the goal is to create valuable content for website or news publication readers that are informative and establish you as a thought leader in the printing world.
That way, the site you publish on gets quality material, and you get a do-follow link that helps boost your domain authority.
Sound confusing? Don’t worry—it’s pretty simple. By securing links in local and online publications, sometimes called link building or backlinking, you can improve your website’s domain authority, which in turn improves its position in Google Results.
However, it can pay to go a little further than just acquiring a link sometimes. That’s where digital PR comes in.
Digital PR focuses on publishing articles that can help build brand awareness and is not solely reliant on a do-follow link to provide value.
This is extremely important for printing companies who are seeking to survive in the slowing printing industry. For example, getting featured in community panel Q&As that highlight small business owners increases brand awareness and secures a link to your website from a relevant, authoritative site.
If you want to find out more about the differences between digital PR and link building, check out this article on “What is Digital PR?”
Additional Digital PR and Link Building Resources:
Where’s the first place you would go if you were looking for a service to help improve your business.
That’s right. Google.
The fact is Google manages an incredible 40,000 searches per second or roughly 1.2 trillion queries worldwide per year. If you want customers to find you through those searches, you’re going to need SEO.
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on search engines. For printing companies, that means more inbound leads without you having to cough up the dough for expensive paid advertising.
Any quality SEO strategy begins with an in-depth SEO audit. Only through an audit can you discover what problems your site has in communicating with search engines.
Then comes an SEO strategy. SEO strategies are based on industry research, competitor analysis, keyword research, and more, but what comes out at the end is an actionable plan to improve your online presence.
Then through content marketing, backlinking, local SEO services, and a number of other tactics, SEO helps move your site up search engine results pages (SERPs).
And I can’t forget technical SEO. Technical SEO works to optimize your site speed, user experience, internal linking, and so much more so you never lose out on organic website traffic.
SEO is the base of any effective marketing strategy. It supports and enhances all other aspects of digital marketing, and is known for providing quality ROI.
Additional SEO Resources:
One of the quickest and most effective ways to improve your online presence is by simply creating and maintaining a Google My Business (GMB) profile.
GMB profiles allow your business to be featured in local results and on Google maps. For regular search queries, that means you’ll be featured under paid ads, but above organic results, as you can see from the example below.
GMB profiles also allow your business to be featured in Google Maps, which is an excellent spot to attract local clientele.
And as you can see from the image below, you receive a prominent citation that includes not only accurate name, address, and phone number (NAP), but also a link to your site.
Having an updated GMB profile is a necessity if you want to improve your online presence and see digital marketing success.
Directories are a great tool to help improve your site’s referral traffic and local SEO. Local SEO helps to improve a business’ visibility for local search and on Google maps. Creating a Google My Business profile, as discussed above, is only the start!
There are two types of directories. First, there are general directories, which include search engines and online review websites. These sites will give citations similar to what we’ve seen above with the GMB profile. General directories include the following and more:
- Bing Places For Business
- Yahoo Local Listings
- Foursquare Directory
- White Pages Business Directory
- Bizjournals.com Small Business Directory
- Better Business Bureau
Here’s what a citation from a general directory might look like:
As you can see, the WhitePages provides your business name, address, phone number, and a map, but they don’t offer a link like many private printing company directories.
Private, industry-specific directory citations like the one below from PrintingCompany.com often include more business information and even a link which helps boost your website’s ability to appear higher in search results.
The citation contains business information, a map, a link, and a place where customers can write reviews.
Private industry directories are a great way to improve your backlink profile and hopefully increase lead generation with quality citations as well.
If you want to learn more about how directories can help your business, check out this article we put together on How to Use Printing Company Directories for Local SEO.
You’ve probably heard the saying: when it comes to marketing, content is king.
Well, it’s true. Content is king.
In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, an amazing 92% of marketers view their companies’ content as an asset. That’s how valuable content is to a business.
You see, by creating high-quality, informative content that answers potential client questions or reveals tips and tricks, you can increase your business’ organic website traffic and bring in more leads.
This blog from The Print Authority helps restaurants better understand how to use printing services to create seasonal menus.
The intent is that a restauranteur reads this article, likes the information, and then reaches out to the Print Authority for printing help.
Simply put, content marketing helps bring in website visitors and turn those visitors into customers.
Additional Content Marketing Resources:
Sometimes, you just need a digital marketing expert.
Building a digital marketing strategy may be easier said than done. The fact is all of these tactics take a lot of time and effort if you want to do them right.
That’s why so many printing companies seek expert help for digital marketing instead of trying to do things themselves.
If you’re ready to take the next steps with digital marketing, but you’re not sure where to start, contact us for more information—we’d be glad to help.
Markitors is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO. We help small businesses rank higher on Google to get more traffic to their websites and increase revenue. Explore what’s in our SEO toolbox: audits and keyword research, digital PR, technical SEO, and local SEO.